Home Boxing News Eddie Hearn says Oleksandr Usyk vs Tyson Fury fight will go ahead,...

Eddie Hearn says Oleksandr Usyk vs Tyson Fury fight will go ahead, makes prediction

Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury

Eddie Hearn has offered his prediction for the undisputed heavyweight world title clash between WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine champion Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14) and WBC titleholder Tyson Fury 34-0-1 (24) at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on May 18.

The Matchroom Boxing chief has a vested interest in the result. He wants his heavyweight, former two-time unified champion Anthony Joshua 28-3 (25), to get a shot at the championship.

The 34-year-old Brit failed to defeat Ukrainian southpaw Usyk, 37, in two attempts. In their first fight in September 2021, Joshua lost a unanimous decision to former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk by scores of 112-117, 113-115 and 112-116.

He fared a little better in their immediate rematch almost one year later, dropping a split decision by scores of 115-113, 112-116 and 113-115.

The enigmatic Fury will enter the Usyk fight off arguably the worst performance of his career. Back in October, the 35-year-old Brit had to peel himself off the canvas in the third round to eke out a 10-round split decision victory over boxing debutant and former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou 0-2 in a non-title bout.

The scores were 94-95, 95-94 and 96-93.

Fury will need to improve on that performance to defeat Usyk and many believe it was the wake up call he needed.

The Usyk versus Fury bout was originally scheduled for February 17 before Fury suffered a nasty cut over his right eye in one of his final sparring session, forcing the fight to be pushed back to next month.

The injury forced the boxing rumour mill into overdrive. Some fans pushed the theory that Fury cut himself on purpose to give himself more time to get in shape. Others went further, saying Fury has no intention of facing Usyk and will find another reason to withdraw from the rescheduled date.

Hearn is not buying into the rumours. He says he has no doubt the fight will proceed as planned, telling talkSPORT Drive: “More sure than I am about any normal fight because it’s already been postponed once.

“Honestly, I have no doubt this fight happens.

“People talk about, ‘Was the cut real?’ It’s the most ridiculous statement you could ever hear.

“The guy’s making tens and tens and tens of millions and he’s been training away from his family for nine weeks, you don’t just decide to cut your eye to get you out of the fight. It’s ridiculous.”

As for his prediction, Hearn says he expects Usyk to be too skillful for the much bigger Fury, but added he will be rooting for his countryman.

“I think it [the postponement] is gonna help Fury in terms of his fitness, he looks in great shape,” Hearn said.

“I saw a video of Usyk the other day, he looks in tremendous shape.

“My pick’s going backwards and forwards. I went with Fury, now I’m with Usyk.

“But I want Fury to win the fight. I really believe the fight with AJ can happen if he wins.

“It’s a pure 50/50 fight, it’s one of the best fights that can be made in boxing, it’s the undisputed heavyweight world championship.

“Four weeks – you will see that fight, without a doubt.”